Friends and Presence

This past weekend I got to spend time with two dear friends Kate Mackinnon and Lisa Carlton.

We soaked in the mineral baths, ate excellent food (the food here at Esalen this summer is the best!) and drank good wine (thank you Kate and the Livermore wineries). We jumped in the pool and played water basketball, treated each other, and talked. Talked about our lives, our families, our health, our futures, what inspires us… and laughed a lot.

Presence grows as we drop into deep conversation and reach out and touch each other – making a difference in each other’s lives. I love the people in my life that I feel comfortable hugging spontaneously, and opening my heart with. And I feel so blessed by the abundance that is here.

As you look at the photo above, do not make assumptions about how “lucky” we are, and how different we are from you. Each one of us has had large challenges in our lives and with the support of our communities and those we love, are successfully moving through them.

Kate is raising twins (a boy and a girl), just entering adolescence, with all that entails. Lisa has just been declared cancer free after a harrowing but successful treatment for throat cancer, and I am soon to be divorced after 32 years of marriage. There was LOTS to share and support each other through.

Community is the web that holds us all. Without the connection that feeds our souls, puts good food in our bellies and gives us a place to raise our voices…well, I simply cannot imagine that…it is what a rich life is about. For me it is about what makes my life worth living.

Here is most of my “monthlong” community (those that were on the lawn watching the sunset last night) that I am weaving here at Esalen in Presence and Leadership. They gave me permission to share this with all of you.

Then there is the community of nature that is all around me – the humming birds, the blue jays, the owls that serenaded us last night, the skunks that waddle across the path and foxes sliding in and out of the shadows.

And the sunsets – almost every night the sunsets are glorious. Here is last night’s sunset. Everyone who is available walks out to the lawn (thus my class was there) and we all watch the sun go down over the ocean. What a joy.

Who is your community? Are you nurturing and taking joy in it? I hope so. If you are reading this post you are a part of my community – and I appreciate you for receiving what I have to offer. Many hugs to all of you.

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